After a pretty spectacular summer with great weather and money predictions, the Rotten Watch has suffered through a winter of excessive snow and scores more than a little off the mark. But last week was half a win and at least folks are taking notice. I received an email from a loyal Rotten reader at CBS Films, certain that my prediction was going to be off on The Mechanic, and that I'd gone too low. I think I was closer than he'd hoped. More on that at the bottom.
This week we do some underwater cave diving while getting a new college roommate. Remember, I'm not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting their eventual place on the Tomatometer. Let's take a look at what This Rotten Week has to offer.
Sanctum is just the kind of movie I hate predicting. Director with no significant credits? Yup. Screenwriters with no scripts on their resume? You betcha. A bunch of actors and actresses whose careers have been kind of all over the place? Sure. Dialogue that is borderline cringe-worthy? Uh-huh. But stunning visuals? Well, yeah. James Cameron's name being bandied about as Executive Producer (might explain some of the terrible dialogue) making it even more confusing? Ugggh.
Sanctum is based on a true events which is the equivalent of saying, “Some people went into a cave once and a couple of things went wrong.” It tells the story of some spelunkers who get trapped underground and need to find a way out. And though the speaking parts may need some tweaks, the rest of the production looks fairly riveting and more than a little suspenseful. (Even if I can only picture Ioan Gruffurd as Reed Richards/ Mr. Fantastic. Poor guy will never be anything else to me.)
Where this flick ends up is dependent on how much the suspense, action and 3-D effects drive the whole production. And though he just has an Exec. Producer tag, Cameron's rarely attaches his name to anything subpar. So Jimmy C, we'll ride your brand and assume this little story of plummeting into the depths reaches the upper heights of the Tomatometer. (You like what I did there? Me neither). The Rotten Watch for Sanctum is 71%.
Who will ever forget their first college roommate? Mrs. Rotten Week certainly won't and she's happy to weigh in on borderline homicidal freshman bunkmates. Her freshman roommate “Sally” would dress in all black and stare at people while they were sleeping. She'd sing Red Hot Chili Peppers in opera voice. Sally had a poster titled “How to Kill People: A-to-Z”. And when Mrs. RW asked Sally to take the poster down, Sally put it under her pillow and kissed it each night. So, yeah, my wife's lucky to have made it out alive.
In this new movie, Minka Kelly has some murderous roommate problems of her own, and Leighton Meester seems more than willing to finish the job. After all, according to Meester's on-screen mother, the girl has apparently gone off some kind of murder-repressing drugs. Nice way to start freshman year. Welcome to college!
Christian E. Christiansen** directs this cautionary tale of higher education. It's pretty much his first rodeo in American film, but the plot points are all things we've seen before. Nothing really new here. Friend starts off cool. Friend starts acting a bit weird. Friend slowly crosses line into creepy. Friend turns into killer. Yawn.
**Really with this name? Too many jokes to make here, but I will ask one question: Why didn't his parents go all the way and just name him Christian Christian Christiansen? So close.
Anyway, this new movie looks like your classic horror movie fare and those rarely garner much critical acclaim. The Rotten Watch for The Roommate is 22%.
Which Rotten movie will have the highest final Tomatometer score?
Like I said at the top, to their credit CBS Films had a great deal of faith in The Mechanic (Predicted: 39% Actual: 48%) and thought I went too low with the score. I responded that I too was actually rooting for Jason Statham and company to do alright with this popcorn flick, but critics almost never go gaga for the boilerplate action film. I was right and the Rotten Watch is getting into Hollywood's head.
Meanwhile, The Rite (Predicted: 54% Actual: 17%) sucked pretty darn bad. A sub-20% score for a movie that appears to take itself quite seriously is a pretty huge disaster. It's one thing for Vampires Suck or even Season of the Witch to come in that low. For an Anthony Hopkins movie to tank this bad is a sorry state of affairs.
Next week Channing Tatum goes Roman, gnomes go Shakespeare, Adam Sandler goes relationship and Justin Bieber goes away (hopefully). It's going to be a Rotten Week!